Pacific Island Ecosystems Research Center


Research at the Pacific Island Ecosystems Research Center focuses on providing the scientific understanding and technologies needed to support and implement sound management and conservation of our Nation's biological resources occurring in Hawai'i and other Pacific island locations.

Spotlight on Research

Spotlight on Research

From Dengue Fever to Zika Virus: mosquitoes have been making headlines lately across the globe. PIERC monitors mosquitoes throughout the Pacific. Learn more about the role of mosquitoes and other vectors on wildlife health in the Pacific Basin.

Vector Ecology

Featured Scientist

Featured Scientist

PIERC ecologist Dr. Dennis LaPointe's work has focused on the spread of mosquito-borne illnesses throughout the Pacific and their impacts on native birds. He is currently assisting NPS with coastal mosquito monitoring to protect public health.

LaPointe Research


Image: 'Akiapōlā'au
July 10, 2017

Forest birds on the island of Hawaii are responding positively to being restored in one of the largest, ongoing reforestation projects at Hakalau Forest National Wildlife Refuge, according to a new study released July 10 in the journal Restoration Ecology.

A Laysan Albatross chick in its nest near the coastline at Midway Atoll, Hawaii
June 22, 2017

Sudden flooding hit islands of global importance for Pacific birds highlighting threats and opportunities for conservation planning

Lab in a suitcase supplies and cases
May 10, 2017

Researchers at the USGS Pacific Island Ecosystems Research Center, University of Hawai‘i at Hilo, and USDA Agriculture Research Service have developed a new tool to rapidly detect the pathogens that cause Rapid ‘Ōhi‘a Death, a disease affecting a keystone tree species across more than 50,000 of acres of land in Hawai‘i. 


Year Published: 2017

Program MAMO: Models for avian management optimization-user guide

The following chapters describe the structure and code of MAMO, and walk the reader through running the different components of the program with sample data. This manual should be used alongside a computer running R, so that the reader can copy and paste code into R, observe the output, and follow along interactively. Taken together, chapters 2–4...

Guillaumet, Alban; Paxton, Eben
Guillaumet, A., and E. H. Paxton. 2017. Program MAMO: Models for avian management optimization-user guide. Hawai`i Cooperative Studies Unit Technical Report HCSU-TR077, University of Hawai'i at Hilo, Hilo, Hawai‘i. Available:

Year Published: 2017

The influence of soil resources and plant traits on invasion and restoration in a subtropical woodland

It has been shown in some cases that nitrogen (N) addition to soil will increase abundance of plant invaders because many invaders have traits that promote rapid growth in response to high resource supply. Similarly, it has been suggested, and sometimes shown, that decreasing soil N via carbon (C) additions can facilitate native species recovery....

Yelenik, Stephanie G.; D'Antonio, Carla M; August-Schmidt, Elizabeth
Yelenik, S. G., C. M. D’Antonio, and E. August-Schmidt. 2017. The influence of soil resources and plant traits on invasion and restoration in a subtropical woodland. Plant Ecology 218:1149–1161. Available:

Year Published: 2017

Biogeographical variation of plumage coloration in the sexually dichromatic Hawai‘i ‘Amakihi (Chlorodrepanis virens)

Plumage coloration in birds can be of major importance to mate selection, social signaling, or predator avoidance. Variations in plumage coloration related to sex, age class, or seasons have been widely studied, but the effect of other factors such as climate is less known. In this study, we examine how carotenoid-based plumage coloration and...

Gaudioso-Levita, Jacqueline M.; Hart, Patrick J.; Lapointe, Dennis; Veillet, Anne; Sebastian-Gonzalez, Esther
Gaudioso-Levita, J. M., P. J. Hart, D. A. LaPointe, A. C. Veillet, and E. Sebastián-González. 2017. Biogeographical variation of plumage coloration in the sexually dichromatic Hawai‘i ‘Amakihi (Chlorodrepanis virens). Journal of Ornithology 158:955–964.